The history of euthanasia and assisted suicide starts from Ancient Greek, physicians used to perform frequent abortions, voluntary and involuntary mercy killings.
Open in a separate window The proportion of non-treatment decisions also differed substantially between countries: Alleviation of pain and symptoms while taking into account or appreciating hastening of death as a possible side-effect happened more frequently and in comparable rates in all countries: These rates show that end-of-life decision-making with a possible or certain life-shortening effect is practiced everywhere in the studied West-European countries.
End-of-life decisions that are mainly a medical response to the suffering of patients, such as alleviation of pain and symptoms, are performed in rather similar frequencies. However, the frequency of end-of-life decisions that are to a large extent determined by cultural factors—such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and non-treatment decisions—varies much more between the countries.
Another striking finding of this study was that in countries where patients and relatives are more often involved in the decision-making at the end of life, the frequency of end-of-life decisions was higher, for example in the Netherlands. Many terminally ill patients who are facing death are offered interventions that may prolong their lives but at the same time may diminish their quality of life, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical ventilation or nasal-gastric feeding tubes.
Discussion between patient, relatives and professional caregivers about whether or not to use such interventions may result in the recognition that quality of life is sometimes to be preferred over prolonging life at all costs.
What Have We Learnt? While initially we thought that the high response rates of the Dutch studies could probably be explained by the Dutch tradition of openness about the subject, our European study showed that quite large proportions of physicians in other countries were also willing to share their experiences.
Second, our research shows that end-of-life decision-making is a significant aspect of end-of-life care. In approximately 4 out of every 10 patients, death is preceded by a decision that possibly or certainly hastened their dying process.
Rather, it is also aimed at improving the quality of life of patients through the prevention and relief of their symptoms, sometimes to the extent that far-reaching decisions such as euthanasia are requested by the patient.
Third, public control and transparency of the practice of euthanasia is to a large extent possible, at least in the Netherlands. The review and notification procedure has increasingly been accepted by physicians, which shows their trust in the system.
A last important lesson that can be learnt is that the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands did not result in a slippery slope for medical end-of-life practices.
Besides religious or principal-based arguments, the slippery slope argument is the mainstay of opponents of the legalization of euthanasia. Briefly, the argument states that: B is morally not acceptable; therefore, we must not allow A Griffiths et al.
Our studies show no evidence of a slippery slope. The frequency of ending of life without explicit patient request did not increase over the studied years.
Also, there is no evidence for a higher frequency of euthanasia among the elderly, people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations Battin et al.
The best example of such an open concept is the condition that the patient should suffer unbearably. In the Chabot-casethe Court decided that suffering that has a non-somatic origin such as a severe and refractory depression can also be a justification for euthanasia; in the Brongersma-case this was further specified in the sense that suffering should originate from a medically classifiable disease, either somatic or psychiatric Griffiths et al.
Euthanasia is most often performed in cases of severe suffering due to physical disease and symptoms and severe function loss, for patients with a limited life expectancy Onwuteaka-Philipsen et al. In such cases there is usually little discussion about whether or not the suffering was unbearable.
A previous study showed that a quarter of physicians who receive euthanasia requests find it problematic to assess the criteria of due care Buiting et al.Jun 29, · Euthanasia is one of society's most widely and fiercely debated moral issues.
No one is able to determine the significance of one’s life and the quality a person should live. Euthanasia is categorized into two separate definitions; active and passive euthanasia. [tags: Pros and Cons of Euthanasia] Research Papers words | ( pages) | Preview.
Euthanasia Devalues Human Life - “Euthanasia is the practice of ending the life of a patient to limit the patient’s suffering. The patient in question would typically be terminally ill or experiencing great pain and suffering.
Nursing Research Critique The purpose of this paper is to bring forth a greater understanding of the need to adhere to guidelines and instructions when dealing with venous leg ulcers. Venous leg ulcers are a result of chronic venous insufficiency (Heck, Grypdonck, Beele, Vanderwee, & Defloor, , p.
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Euthanasia is a unique practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal disease/illness or an incurable condition by means of the.